Rules on prosecuting and punishing fraud against the EU budget were voted by the Budgetary Control and Civil Liberties committees on Thursday. In amendments to a draft anti-fraud law, MEPs clearly defined the offences for which member states would have to introduce criminal penalties, such as fraud, passive and active corruption, money laundering or dishonest bidding for public procurement contracts. Fraud costs the EU budget an estimated €600 million each year.
The European Commission’s management of EU funds in 2012 won the Budgetary Control Committee’s “budget discharge” seal of approval on Tuesday. Yet MEPs expressed reservations about the high error rate in agriculture and regional policy spending at national level. In separate votes, discharges to the Council and the Riga-based electronic communications regulatory body BEREC were postponed.